Tuesday, July 17, 2012

久しくも。。。。 (Cicadas for summer.)

久しくも hisashiku mo
聞かざるからに kikazaru kara ni
そのあるを sono aru o
忘れし蝉の wasureshi semi no
鳴きいでにけり naki ide ni keri

the cicada's chirping—so long since I've heard it, I'd forgotten
Or something along those lines. I like that that structure in English has some ambiguity, between "the chirping of the cidada" and "the cicada is chirping" (鳴き出でにけり). The けり ending suggests continuity, like the waves of cicada song one hears in the woods on a summer night. It's by KUBOTA (窪田空穂, 1877–1967), a poet and literary scholar from Nagawa (formerly Wada), Matsumoto, Nagano, and the more I write it, the more I like it. (Amazingly, the poem isn't googleable, so, here: 久しくも聞かざるからにそのあるを忘れし蝉の鳴きいでにけり. Now it is.)

We chose some hentaigana—fun to try different combinations!—and historical models for the kanji, and now we're working on the whole thing in chirashi, something like this:

Really fun to write, especially since it has several characters I particularly like: 母(も), 聞, 沙,ら,曽(そ),忘,支,爾(に), and especially 希(け), which starts like a little swordfight and ends with the wrap-and-pull action that's so much fun in ゆ.Certainly not without its challenges, though; I'm not very good with the sliding of し, and I find some of the other shapes really difficult—not to mention spacing, chirashi, etc., etc.... でも、いつものように、頑張りましょうね。

Corrections: (1) accidentally had 着 instead of 聞; still need to fix 沙.

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